Articles on this Page
- 06/04/13--13:30: _Don't Forget: 'Holl...
- 06/04/13--14:00: _Adopt Your Own Alie...
- 06/04/13--15:00: _Interview with Dire...
- 06/04/13--16:00: _'Cool Air' by H. P....
- 06/04/13--17:00: _'Beetlejuice: The A...
- 06/05/13--08:30: _'Insidious: Chapter...
- 06/05/13--09:00: _FEARnet Movie Revie...
- 06/05/13--10:00: _Gift Guide: Shark A...
- 06/05/13--11:00: _You Can Expect Anot...
- 06/05/13--12:00: _Exclusive Premiere:...
- 06/05/13--13:00: _'Suspiria' Themed B...
- 06/05/13--14:00: _The Unseen: "Midnig...
- 06/05/13--15:00: _This Joy Division V...
- 06/05/13--16:00: _‘Injustice’ Tells S...
- 06/05/13--17:00: _Mantooth Makes Powe...
- 06/06/13--08:00: _J.J. Abrams to Adap...
- 06/06/13--09:00: _Gift Guide: 'Beetle...
- 06/07/13--10:00: _The Most Influentia...
- 06/07/13--11:00: _Exclusive Video Int...
- 06/07/13--12:00: _Exclusive: Writer T...
- 06/04/13--13:30: Don't Forget: 'Holliston' and 'Reaper' Premiere Tonight!
- 06/04/13--14:00: Adopt Your Own Alien Slug from 'Night of the Creeps'
- 06/04/13--15:00: Interview with Director Alexandre Aja on Adapting Joe Hill's 'Horns'
- 06/04/13--16:00: 'Cool Air' by H. P. Lovecraft: A Review of a Classic Short Story
- 06/05/13--09:00: FEARnet Movie Review: 'Berberian Sound Studio'
- 06/05/13--10:00: Gift Guide: Shark Attack Platform Heels
- 06/05/13--13:00: 'Suspiria' Themed Bar Opens in Japan
- 06/05/13--14:00: The Unseen: "Midnight Ballad for Ghost Theater"
- 06/05/13--15:00: This Joy Division Video Game Will Tear You Apart... Again
- 06/05/13--16:00: ‘Injustice’ Tells Scorpion to “Get Over Here” for New DLC
- 06/05/13--17:00: Mantooth Makes Powerful Debut With 'The Year of the Storm'
- 06/06/13--08:00: J.J. Abrams to Adapt Rod Serling's Lost Screenplay
- 06/06/13--09:00: Gift Guide: 'Beetlejuice' Living Terrarium
- 06/07/13--10:00: The Most Influential Horror Remakes
- 06/07/13--11:00: Exclusive Video Interview with Motionless in White
As if you could forget... but tonight is the premiere of Reaper and season two of Holliston, all part of FEARnet's Twisted Comedy Tuesdays.
First, at 9pm ET / 6pm PT is Reaper. The 2007 cult favorite kicks off right at the beginning, with Sam Oliver learning on his 21st birthday that his parents made a pact with the devil - he is the son of Satan.
Then, at 10pm ET / 7pm PT is the premiere of season two of Holliston. The FEARnet original horror-sitcom stars filmmakers Adam Green and Joe Lynch as themselves - albeit less-successful versions of themselves. In the season two opener, the boys kidnap a suicidal Kane Hodder to get him to star in their short film, "Shinpads."
You can only watch Holliston and Reaper on FEARnet. Don't have FEARnet? Click here to find out how you can get it.
Shout Factory recently released the entire Beetlejuice animated series on DVD. Based on the Tim Burton film, the animated series features Beetlejuice, his best friend Lydia, and their adventures in Beetlejuice’s wacky home world, Neitherworld. There are no special features, just the entire 94-episode run. Back in the late 1980s and the early 1990s, when the show originally aired, no one was thinking about DVD releases - DVDs hadn’t been invented yet. They are all on DVD, they look decent (no restoration, but again: it’s a cartoon) - that is my review.
So instead of a review of the set, let’s look back at five things you may have forgotten about the show.
In the film, it was enough to say “Beetlejuice” three times to get him there, but in the cartoon, Lydia has a rhyme: "Though I know I should be wary, Still I venture someplace scary; Ghostly hauntings I turn loose ... Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice!"
There is a Pink Flamingoes Episode
In “The Big Face-Off,” Lydia and Beetlejuice take part in a Neitherworld game show to win the title of the Grossest in Neitherworld. This is the exact plot of John Waters’ seminal 1972 ode to bad taste, Pink Flamingoes. There are dozens of other pop culture references, but none quite as inappropriate as Pink Flamingoes.
Beetlejuice has an Entourage
I wouldn’t exactly call them “friends” because Lydia is his only true friend. But there is a cast of recurring characters: Jacques LaLean, a French skeleton bodybuilder (named after famed fitness expert Jack LaLanne); Ginger the tap dancing spider (named after film starlet Ginger Rogers); the big, faceless Texan known only as The Monster Across the Street (and his little dog Poopsie); and the Dragster of Doom, the car that Beetlejuice built for Lydia (they call him Doomie for short).
The Deetzes Were “Normal” and the Maitlands Didn’t Exist
In the original film, Lydia’s mom was a self-centered avant-garde artist and her dad was a “businessman.” In the cartoon, they are far more domesticated, with just a little bit of “cartoon quirk.” They resemble the Maitlands from the film, the ghostly couple who befriend the depressed Lydia. The Maitlands do not exist in the cartoon (though the bridge they died on is featured in the first episode).
Beetlejuice Aired on Two Networks at Once
Beetlejuice was one of the few shows to air simultaneously on two different networks during its initial run. The series started on ABC, during their Saturday morning cartoon block. During the third season, the show also aired on Fox as one of their flagship shows during their weekday, after-school programming block.
Beetlejuice: The Complete Series is now available on DVD.
Berberian Sound Studio starts out pretty simply but you'll want to play closer attention to all the little details as the movie goes on. Things get well and truly bizarre by the middle of Act III, and those who've made the most effort are the ones who'll most appreciate the oddly creepy and darkly poetic finale. It seems like Mr. Strickland and his team have put together a clever little puzzle box of a film in Berberian Sound Studio,and the ones who'll probably enjoy it the most are the old-school giallo junkies -- or those obsessed with the magic of sound design.
I have a weird obsession with shoes that look like animals. I have a pair of mouse flats, crab sandals, fish flip-flops, and I regret to this day not buying a pair of rainboots with a whale print. Well, add another pair to that list with these Shark Attack platforms. Featuring a six-inch heel (three inches or so of that is the platform) these pumps are scary enough on their own. But paint a grimacing shark face on them, and you've got something terrifying. But then there are shark fins on the side, and that just makes them special.
That's right horror fans: even money says we will get a new Friday the 13th movie and a complete Friday the 13th blu-ray box set in the next five years. And why is that? Warner Bros. gave up their rights to the franchise to Paramount, who now has five years to make a film; otherwise the rights revert back to Warner Bros.
Let's back up a minute. A brief history of the Friday the 13th franchise's ownership history: director Sean Cunningham got funding to make the original F13 from Boston theater owners. Paramount took domestic distribution rights to the franchise; Warner Bros. took international. When the rights reverted back to Cunningham in full, he took F13 to New Line in an attempt to make a Freddy vs. Jason easier to push through the works. New Line had control of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise at that point, so it seemed like a good idea, but even still, it took another 10 years to get the project to market. New Line has since become part of Warner Bros. and when they relaunched the franchise in 2009, it turned out that Paramount still had a 50% stake in the franchise.
Now it is 2013, and Paramount has taken the reins to Christopher Nolan's upcoming tentpole, Interstellar. Warner Bros. has a lucrative relationship with the director, having released his Dark Knight trilogy and stand-alone Inception to both high praise and high box office receipts. Naturally, Warner Bros. wants another piece of the Nolan pie, so they have traded their stake in the Friday the 13th franchises to Paramount, in exchange for co-financing Interstellar - and hopefully reaping the rewards.
This decision had to be relatively easy for Warner Bros, who has been trying to get a sequel to their rebooted F13 off the ground since 2009, but the shared stake in the franchise caused plenty of problems, and obviously has kept the sequel from moving forward. Similarly, we have never gotten a cohesive blu-ray set of the entire Friday the 13th franchise because the rights were shared by multiple studios. Now that it is all under one roof, it would be insane for Paramount not to take advantage and release an insane, comprehensive box set.
The catch in this deal (there is always a catch) is that Paramount has the rights for five years. Usually, this means that Paramount will retain the rights if they make at least one Friday the 13th movie in that time, then the rights reset and they will have another five years to make another installment. So with the rights no longer divided between two studios, it seems that there should be no hold-up in another Jason Voorhees movie.
Source: Hollywood Reporter
Injustice: Gods Among Us has the advantage of literally hundreds, if not thousands of characters to digitize as fighters for potential DLC to blister our thumbs and gut our wallets. So it seems kind of odd that the next DLC character has been announced as Mortal Kombat’s Scorpion. Huh?
Well, the trailer below from Joystiq manages to draw a more solid connection between the franchises, which clashed in Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, by revealing that Scorpion’s yellow togs have been redesigned by DC Comics’ Co-Publisher and iconic artist Jim Lee. The redesign has some obvious elements to it (Scorpion’s trademark spear is now barbed like a venomous tail), but it’s instantly recognizable as both a product of Jim Lee’s pen and the character himself.
While it may cheese off some DC fans (give me Swamp Thing, you sons of bitches!), I will admit I have a long-standing love affair with the undead, fire-breathing ninja, and a minor spoiler at the end of the trailer reveals the fourth DLC character…and it’s a doozy. It’s not Swamp Thing, though. Bastards.
Storms can be powerful agents of change. Just ask anyone in Moore, Oklahoma, about the changes their lives and surroundings underwent a couple of weeks ago; ask anyone in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, about the changes they saw back in April of 2011. These changes weren’t sought out, and they certainly weren’t welcome, but once those clouds stacked high and began to rotate, the changes were inevitable.
John Mantooth knows about storms. He was raised in Alabama, where tornado warnings in the spring are as common as mosquito bites and triple-digit temperatures in the summer. He’s seen the damage twisters can do. He knows that they can upend houses and lives with ease and an almost callous disregard. It’s no surprise then that tornadoes play such an integral part in his debut novel, The Year of the Storm. There are the real storms that tear through the pages of this book, wreaking havoc on this small, fictional corner of Alabama; and there are the metaphorical storms that rip through the lives of two teenagers who experience the upheaval decades apart, but eventually find that the damage binds them inextricably.
One of the boys is named Walter, and years ago his small town was traumatized by the disappearance of two young girls. The other is Danny, who lives in the same town in present day. The mystery of the two young girls still hangs over the place, but there are other disappearances that haunt Danny – namely, that of his mother and sister, who left the house one day and never came back. When Walter returns to the town the lives of the boy and the man begin to dovetail together, and the ghosts that haunt them both begin to clamor for the truth to come out.
Although largely grounded in the “real world,” there is a large supernatural element to Storm, an element that is the cornerstone of the truth that Danny is seeking. It’s integral to the story, but Mantooth handles it with a deft touch, never allowing it to overshadow the narrative. This is no hokey spook story; this is a sad, intensely personal story about loss and loneliness, with a powerful mystery and a compelling hook at its core.
The unbelievable things that Walter and, later, Danny come to believe are a wedge that separates them from family, friends and – ultimately, and far too soon – their childhood. Striking out on your own has a way of making you grow up fast. Both learn this firsthand, as the things they see and experience isolate them from those they thought they could count on. Authority figures grow suspicious, parents grow frustrated, and friends grow apart, leaving a confused young man and a bitter old man with no choice but to rely on one another.
I’ve read reviews and blurbs that compare The Year of the Storm to works by Stephen King and Robert McCammon, and there’s truly no higher praise I can heap on the book. Suffice to say that I find both comparisons to be quite apt. Like King, Mantooth displays the ability to create rich, believable characters out of thin air. Like McCammon, he perfectly captures what it’s like to grow up too fast in a rural town where secrets are widely discussed, gossip is prime currency, and the sins of the family can be a permanent mark against you.
The Year of the Storm is as strong a debut novel as any I’ve read in a long time. It’s frightening and sad, vicious and unforgiving, quiet and contemplative. It’s a helluva start to what’s surely going to be a career worth watching.
The Year of the Storm by John Mantooth at Amazon.com
Blu Gilliand is a freelance writer of fiction and nonfiction. He covers horror fiction at his blog, October Country, and contributes interviews to the Horror World website. Follow him on Twitter at @BluGilliand.
J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot production company just picked up the rights to Rod Serling's final, unproduced screenplay, The Stops Along the Way.
Details on the plot remain secret, but if it came from Serling and has been picked up by Abrams, it's got to be dark and creepy. Rod Serling, of course, created and wrote The Twilight Zone, recently named the third-best written TV show of all time by the Writers Guild of America. He was also behind Night Gallery, the more supernatural and "horror" anthology series that came after The Twilight Zone.
The plan is to bring The Stops Along the Way to television as a limited-run miniseries. Abrams has not said if he will be directing the project, or just producing, but it seems like Bad Robot is aiming for a spot on the 2013-2014 schedule.
Source: Hollywood Reporter
This amazing little ecosystem comes from Etsy artist Rachel, an illustrator and botanist. Does it look familiar? It should: this is a replica of the Maitlands' house in Beetlejuice. Built at just over an inch tall and made out of wax, the model is settled in amongst moss and trees that replicate the rolling hills in the film.
The moss in the terrarium is living, and as such requires some minor upkeep to keep it alive. Rachel promises it is simple and includes an instruction sheet.
The word “remake” has become a dirty term in most cinematic circles as it so often indicates a fundamental lack of creativity or, at the very least, a studio’s craven need to make money repeatedly from the same audience. The thinking is that, if you liked it once, you’ll probably like it again. However, there are few things less terrifying than being fully aware exactly where and when a person plans to jump out and scream “Boo!”, so it’s not that surprising that most horror movie remakes fail to connect creatively with audiences. But the operative word in that previous sentence is “most.” There actually are some undeniably great take-twos or even threes in the horror genre, almost always the product of filmmakers – such as David Cronenberg, Matt Reeves, or Zach Snyder – who were willing to reinterpret a work and make it their own, instead of just blandly recycling the original concept. Horror fans everywhere have pondered the best remakes of every horror subgenre ad nauseam, but what about the remakes that didn’t just appease the appetites of a very critical fan base but had significant commercial impact as well (or maybe instead)? What horror remakes most influenced the generations of horror remixes to follow? If you’re looking for horror remakes that undeniably left a sizable footprint on the film industry as a whole, here are our picks, in chronological order…
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
Philip Kaufman’s remake of the 1956 sci-fi/horror classic was one of the most impactful event films of the late ‘70s (in any genre) and helped legitimize the idea of auteurs tackling what was once considered B-movie subject matter. Kaufman’s reimagining of the pod people for an increasingly distrustful generation raised on Watergate and Vietnam made such waves that Variety claimed that it singlehandedly validated the concept of remakes in the first place. And it wasn’t a remake of a “traditionally respected drama,” but rather a drive-in flick that advertised “They come from another world!” Kaufman proved with Body Snatchers that it wasn’t necessarily the source that mattered, as much as the approach taken by the people remaking it. With a smart script (that earned a Writers Guild nomination), a multi-talented cast, and incredible direction, Body Snatchers shattered expectations critically and commercially, landing in the top 25 for the year at the box office and earning rave reviews. Kaufman’s work here proved that directors of horror remakes needn’t be filmmakers-for-hire, which arguably led to a wave of similarly artistic reinterpretations of B-movies in the ‘80s from Carpenter, Cronenberg, and more.
Influenced: The Thing (1982), Cat People (1982), The Fly (1986)
House on Haunted Hill (1999)
I didn’t say “good,” just influential. The remake and slasher trends of the ‘80s had given way to the relatively tame decade of the ‘90s, overrun with sequelitis and only saved in the end by a strong independent horror movement. Two studios would really rebuild the concept of the horror movie remake in the ‘00s, Platinum Dunes and Dark Castle. Since the latter came first, they get the blue ribbon in the influential contest. Dark Castle’s first remake, House on Haunted Hill certainly didn’t have the critical heft of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but it did feature a strong cast pedigree (including an Oscar winner in Geoffrey Rush), relatively small budget, and it opened at #1 at the box office before a HUGE run on DVD. Get at least one respectable star, maybe a couple of pretty people from TV, keep the budget under $50 million, and the success will come (if not the quality). At least it did for a decade for Dark Castle and Platinum Dunes.
Influenced: Thir13en Ghosts (2001), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), The Amityville Horror (2005), House of Wax (2005), The Hitcher (2007), Friday the 13th (2009), A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
The Ring (2002)
In many ways, it’s the gold standard of modern remakes and it led the way for a wave of Asian horror remakes that wouldn’t come close to matching it in terms of reputation, quality, or influence. While Asian horror was making waves through import DVD outlets, Verbinski and the team behind The Ring proved that it was a movement that could translate to multiplex American audiences. One of the main reasons that The Ring works as well as it does is the driven performance at its center by Naomi Watts, a factor missing from not just the rest of the Asian remake trend that it influenced, but also in most remakes in general. The lesson that most filmmakers took from The Ring was that there was this relatively untapped vein of foreign horror films just waiting for them to remake. What they should’ve learned was that, as with all remakes, it’s the talent of the band that performs the cover tune, and not always the tune itself, that matters. Note: The Ring also deserves major influential credit for ushering in a new wave of PG-13 horror, for better or worse.
Influenced: The Grudge (2004), The Eye (2008), Shutter (2008), The Uninvited (2009)
Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Adapting cinematic gold standards had proven to be remake poison in the past (Van Sant’s Psycho, for example) and so it was with heavy trepidation that most horror fans approached Zach Snyder’s take on what is indisputably one of the best genre flicks ever made. Who is this kid daring to tackle King Romero? And so the surprise was even greater when Snyder’s film turned out to be a taut, action-packed thriller that really works on its own. (And isn’t that the key to ALL successful remakes? They should build on the source material, but also stand fully on their own merit.) The zombie genre became one of the most prominent of the ‘00s for a number of reasons, including the sociopolitical fears of the real world (interesting how times of international hardship always seem to reboot interest in zombies). But the genre also resurged because a cadre of undeniably talented filmmakers - Snyder, Danny Boyle (28 Days Later…), and Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead), among others - jumped into the undead pool with both feet and reminded us of the pleasures of the living dead. It’s hard to remember now that zombies are such a prominent part of the independent/low-budget horror movement that you can’t attend a film festival without seeing something about the undead, but, at the start of the twenty-first century, zombies weren’t regarded as cool anymore. But thanks to directors like Snyder and remakes like Dawn of the Dead, the impact of the zombie resurgence is still being felt today.
Influenced: Most major zombie films since from Land of the Dead (2005) to World War Z (2013)
We are still nearly a month away from Pacific Rim’s release in theaters on July 12th. The giant robots versus giant monsters movie directed by Guillermo del Toro is sure to be the biggest genre film of the summer. If you are impatient like me, you can pick up the new graphic novel, Pacific Rim: Tales from Year Zero. Travis Beacham wrote the graphic novel in addition to the screenplay, and he tells us about why Tales from Year Zero won’t be a spoiler to the movie.
How did you go about adapting the idea of Pacific Rim into a graphic novel? Because the graphic novel is not just a tie-in with the film, but a new story.
I had the story idea back in 2007 and kind of sat on it for awhile, to let it come together until I felt equipped to talk about it to other people. I think it was around 2011 when Legendary picked it up, and Guillermo very quickly came on board. It started to come together as a movie at that point.
Was the graphic novel always part of the Pacific Rim plan?
There was always this idea that we would do a graphic novel, because Legendary has their comics imprint. It came about in a weird way, or at least the story did. The movie that we were doing takes place in a world much bigger [than the movie]. In order to make it feel organic and alive and realistic, you have to imagine all the details and history of that world, even the stuff you might not eventually use. So we ended up with a lot of supplemental material and a lot of backstory and a lot of history. The movie takes place about a decade after the first kaiju attack. So that is the world we come in to. When we got to talking about a graphic novel, I think we all thought that, instead of doing a straight-up adaptation of the movie, it would be fun to utilize a lot of this supplemental material, to create something that would add to the experience of the movie. It fills in some of the history that the movie doesn’t necessarily go into.
So it’s a prequel to the movie. In the graphic novel, we see the first kaiju, we see the first jaeger, and we meet a few of the characters early on in their careers and see some of the formative moments that made them who they are. We also meet some new characters who, in their own way, are very important to the mythology.
Frequently screenwriters are done with a movie the moment they type “The End.” How involved were you?
It has come together in a way that nothing I have ever worked on has. Usually you turn in your first draft of something and you cross your fingers, then however many years later you see the trailer. With this, I was fortunate that Guillermo trusted me and the producers trusted me, and they kept me in the loop as much as they possibly could. So I got to see it come together and I got to be involved. I was on set - not constantly, but I made appearances. There is so much choreography with a film like this: the sets, the action scenes, especially when you are in the cockpit of the jaegers... there is not a lot of writing on the fly, apart from improvisational exercises that the writer and director play around with. I think Guillermo might be more comfortable with that than having writers actually dictate the pages.
Are you a big fan of monsters?
Oh yeah. I’ve always loved giant monsters and giant robots. I used to watch Voltron when I was a kid; I burned out my tapes of Godzilla. I was really, really nuts about that stuff. I think when I got to be a screenwriter and I started thinking about what movies I wanted to see, it was a modern version of that subgenre.
I think this applies to the comic and the movie: You know the robots are going to be fun to write, and you know the monsters are going to be fun to write, but you don’t necessarily know if you have a story at all unless the stuff in between is fun to write; that the characters and the problems are interesting; that you feel something for them. The movie, much to my delight, as well as the comic, have all the monster and robot action that I have come to love, but also has the character depths that I had hoped they would have. There is no reason why a character can’t be interesting.
Will the art style we see in the comic “match” what we see on the screen?
Yeah. The artists had a lot of reference material to go from, but they also brought their own visual style to it. We have five pencilers who each have their own unique style that they bring to the story. The design aesthetic, as far as what the jaegers and what the kaiju look like is very connected to the design process of the movie. We actually used unused designs from the movie in the comic. So if you see a jaeger or a kaiju in the comic, it is likely that it came from the movie design team. There really is a unity of purpose between the two, and the story and the look weave together because the creative teams behind each were basically the same people.
Is the graphic novel just a one-off, or is there a plan to serialize it?
I would do as many as people wanted to see! I loved playing around in this sandbox, and the world definitely has the potential to have more stories come to life. I would definitely not rule out further exploits in any medium, really.
“Any medium?” Are you guys already working on a sequel to the movie?
Oh yeah! That’s definitely something we are talking about. It is a world that we are constantly imagining stories taking place in. That is what is really interesting to me.